Space-based cellular broadband startup to IPO via SPAC deal

December 18, 2020 // By Rich Pell
Space-based cellular broadband startup to IPO via SPAC deal
Next-generation satellite broadband specialist AST & Science has announced that it has entered into a business combination agreement with New Providence Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: NPA, NPAUU and NPAWW), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

AST & Science ("AST SpaceMobile") is building what it says is the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones and IoT devices. Backed by an extensive IP and patent portfolio, the company says it will uniquely address the $1 trillion global mobile wireless services market by delivering seamless broadband cellular connectivity directly to unmodified, existing mobile phones, without any need for specialized hardware.

The company says its engineers have designed an entirely new proprietary form factor and deployment method that significantly reduce the time and costs associated with manufacturing, launching. and operating satellites. Leveraging proven technologies, its mega constellation of SpaceMobile satellites will provide 2G/3G/4G LTE/5G and NB-IoT connectivity to standard mobile phones and IoT devices and to enables access to SpaceMobile from any location - even inside - regardless of visibility to the satellites in orbit.

With an expected initial access to 1.3 billion subscribers of some of the world's largest cellular operators, the company expects to be positioned to rapidly scale its revenue streams as it deploys its space assets for nearly complete global coverage, while benefitting from operating leverage and low maintenance capital costs via its super-wholesale, business-to-business model. Once deployed, the company's services will meet the needs of at least five billion mobile subscribers who face broadband connectivity issues when moving in and out of cellular coverage, and will enable access by more than half of the world population that do not have internet on their phone.

"AST SpaceMobile's low latency, space-based platform will allow hundreds of millions of people across the world to access high-speed, cellular broadband service in areas where there was previously no such service," says Abel Avellan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile. "Working directly with our strategic partners, we are on track in executing on phase one of our commercial launch as we set the stage to bring our game-changing space network for


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